Allready the name give me the feeling of adventure and anticipiation. I Think Åre has build up its own soul as a outdoor Mecca. Swedens own Chamonix. Here you got would i should call the swedens best skiing. Ansd also a real nice summer adventure paradise. Åre shows that a small resort with high ambition can be a spot on the map to Count with. With the ambition of this resort I Think it will only become better for every year. Skiing, downhill cycling or hiking, this is the Place. So maybe we meet here during the Winter?!
So today the chrismass gift suggestion will be something about Åre, so here it comes…
And today we will look into new gear on the market, and maybe some of them can become a note on the wish list for Santa Claus. First out will be the Goal zero Nomad 5 solar kit. This one can be used for mobile recharging and to fill up your power bank. This one is just for the IPhones.
The next will be the xyf1 find it. A tool for finding your lost things. With this badge on your things you will find them. Why not put it on your dog? With a search range of 300-500 ft(200m) you will find your stuff. You install a app, then it is just to go. You will find your device immediately.
When it is dark and you want to pull down the tent, or if you want to avoid stumbling over the tent pegs this will be a good suggestion. NEMO has rethought the staking experience and designed a stake with integrated cleaning – Sweepstake eliminates the problem of dirt sticking to your tent stake. The durable, tethered polymer biscuit not only swipes your stake clean – it also glows in the dark, saving you from tripping on stakes and guylines at night.
When you are out on a sky run, or just a glacier hike and the sun is shining. Have you ever got the problem with sunscreen running in the eyes with a stinging result? The sunscreen revolution from New Zealand that has the solution that’s changing the way we think about sun protection. This new kind of broad-spectrum sunscreen is not diluted with water, so a little goes a long way! Waterless Organogel base. UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection, Water and sweat resistant for up to 40 minutes, Free from alcohol, PEG, emulsifiers and vegan friendly, Not tested on animals, Biodegradable ingredients, Suitable for all ages including pregnant women and babies.
Today it will be blog about the Swedish Mountain Leader organisation. The SFLO was grounded in 2014 and it was related to the new standard of guide training. One of the most important focus was to develop the training and the education of the norm of mountain leader. Today the organisations most important focus is to develope the oblique. And also to get the organisation into UIMLA (Union of International Mountain Leader) and becoming a full member of that organisation. This will mean that we can start to develope IML(International Mountaon Leader) in Sweden. This will be an important step for the mountain guidning in Sweden. SFLO is a very important organisation for all proffessional guides in Sweden.
Today it has time for avalanches. If we look back in the history, the deadliest avalanche may happen more than 2000 year ago. When Hannibal tried to march the Carthaginian army across the alps from Spain to Rome. Then they were caught by an avalanche and about 20 000men was killed. Hannibal survived the ordeal, but his mission had been thwarted. This topic can never be discussed too much. In the beginning I just want to lift a warning, knowing much about avalanches or have good equipment could never ever replace the practical skills of how to act in such environment. First, after bad weather condition whatever it has been snowing or storming, experts recommend waiting for 48 hours- but local variable can extend that time. Always check the avalanche forecast. Plan your route, avoid slopes between 30-45 degrees. For this you can use a compass with clinometer, a clinometer on your pole or your iPhone. Plan the rout on the windward side if possible, the snow here usually thinner and less likely to slide. Stay well away from cornices. Read the environment: Avoid barren gullies and slopes with sparse stands of young timber. Trees with broken branches on their uphill sides are also signs that avalanches routinely sweep vegetation from the hill. Travel below or on heavily forested slopes, where mature trees help anchor the snow. If you must traverse a steep slope, choose the highest route possible. People caught near the crown of an avalanche are more likely to survive, since they tend to stay near the surface of the debris. Travel one by one so a slide doesn’t wipe out your entire group and move carefully but rapidly to minimize exposure (keep distance between you). One of the most important things to do is to talk to the locals about how the current conditions are. And do a snow block test, to see the different layers in the snow.
Ok, so now we now how to plan the route. What do we need for equipment? If you are going out for skiing in step areas don’t leave without: Clinometer, shovel, probe, avalanche transceiver and an ABS back pack. But as I mention before this does not make you safe but increase your ability to survive.
But even if you have done all preparation, got all the right gear and have done the safest route planning but got stuck in an avalanche, what to do? Now we got two scenarios; one you get caught. The second someone else got caught. So, let’s start with the second. First, secure that yourself are on safety ground. Now the others life is hanging on you, so don’t get caught of another avalanches. Take a deep breath collect the thoughts. Get a view over the area. Call the mountain rescue, explain the situation and location. Now you are working against the time. If a victim will be rescued within 18 minutes, the survival rate is greater than 91% between 19-35 minutes it drops to 34%. Ok, so what that means? You really should have very good skills with the avalanche transceiver. Now it is time to coordinate the rescue. Where was the victim last seen? Start the transceiver search (I will not go into details about this.) When you got the spot, its time for the probing. And the next step will be to dig. This is a really hard work; the snow is hard as concrete. So, you have to organize it well, because you will be tired.
Today it will be about some forgotten places and trails. To began with, we start with the Stuguberget. This is Ostersunds climbing clubs house mountain. Here you have a fantastic vies, and also a very good climbing area, but also a good hiking area. So if you havent been climbing, hiking or run at the area, you still have it on the bucket list:-)
The other trail will be from the Gasen mountain cabin. Here there are two interesting trails. The one towards Vålåcabins and the one to Helags. The first one goes south of Harjangsfjallet towards the Vala-cabins. You pass the wind shelter at Harjangscreek. And enter up to the Vala-cabins. One of the most beatiful cabin area in Jamtland.
The other trail is the one toward Helags mountainstation. It goes over the mountain and should just be used under good weather circumstances. At least during winter time.
This day I will begin with a story from Ostersund area. In the year 1988 I was doing a winter training in the army. After going by the night train, we arrived at Ostersund in the morning. After four days of ski technique, base camp duty and snow bivouace building it was time for a real mountain tour. And off we went. 120 young officers from all parts of Sweden began the trail uphill’s to the slope where we would spend the night. Now all aspirants realized the challenge with skiing in the area of the mountain birch. Bake around the obstacles with skis and sledge can be demanding, especially if you haven’t been skiing at all before… The weather was cloudy, but ok and the temperature was around -4 degrees. When arriving to the area for the snow bivouac, we split up into different working groups. Some of us started to dig, the others started to cook food. Here we learned that you for sure will get wet, while building the bivouac. One of us gets into the snow cave and one was standing outside and shoveling the snow over the side. When it was room for two in the cave the next one gets in there and dig. Soon we could start building niches for bed and cooking. After two and a half hour it all was done. A notice, in good weather with good instructions and in a checked area without any stress it took us two and a half hours. Take that in mind, you need to stop in time for being able to build a “snöka”. We got into the bivouac put the mattress, reindeer pelt and the sleeping bag in place. The pole was used as a ventilation solution and we also dig a hole for communication with the neighbor cave. The next morning, we woke up and it was a storm over the mountains. There was almost no sight at all, and we had to wait out for better weather. At eight we went up and eat breakfast, and with the daylight there was a slight of sight. So, we decided to continue. At ten AM everyone was ready, and I put on my army skis. This day I also was responsible for the sledge, lucky me (guys with knowledge of Winter got that as a reword). At 10.04 I have already tripped over four times. With my mate Bjarnered braking the sledge from behind with a rope down the slope. When I felt for the 6th time and got the sledge in my neck I lost my temper. Bjarnered just standing there and laughing at me. But when I looked to the left, I saw Einarsson from the south of Sweden, struggling with his skis (first time in his life in snow, and on skies) He yelled, -now I am tired of this shit, I will walk instead, for using this f*****skies. He left his skies and sunk into his waist in the snow. We helped him up on the skies again. Later he left the army and become a priest. Thank lord to that. Well later we came back after the tour skilled and happy, but as Kipling said -that is another history.
Todays x-mas gift suggestion will be coffee, a mug and Fjällfuliness..,
During the autumn I have had a focus on safety, with risk management etc. One of the most risky activities will be the river crossing. If you have the possiblity you should reconaissance the river you are going to cross. If not, you really shall have good knowledge and skills for doing it. First of all: avoide Excessive river flow and volume, Excessive river width. Find a Place were it is shallov and easy to cross(often the river is broad here) cross it diagonal, dont fight the current. If you are a Group you can use Mutual support, and grab each other. Or if you are skilled with rope tecniques you also can use a rope for safety. But this is for proffesionals.
The x-mas gift suggestion of the day will be a book.
As a mountain leader so you has to be able to master many different branches. Thats one of the delight of the yard. Via Ferrata wll be one of my favourites. It is something between a lot of diffrent activites. It dosent require a lot of equipment either, and often you can rent it at place. In Norway there a lot of really nice Via ferrata trails but also in Sweden. If you havent been to Skuleberget you really should. A nice spring morning, a nice summer day or why not a sunny autumn day. The expectation and challenge is lying in the air when you start. You focus and soon you got the adrenaline kick while traverseing the trail.
And after a haour of struggle you get the reward, a faboulus view of the area. Take a coffee, be in the moment for a coule of seconds, and then on it again.
(Dont forget to enjoy the view…)
After guiding a couple of persons at the Skuleberget Via Ferrata no one has ever complain, or dispute the decision of doing the Via Ferrata…
So these are the guides tips for a good Via Ferrata: One: wear the right equipment(helmet, harness, The Via Ferrata set and boots). Two: wear good gloves. Three: Wear a small compact back pack with 1st aid, a core jacket, water and some bars. Four: A good aproach shoe or boot. One with a rubber sole that cover the toes. Five: take the trail step by step, rest and enjoy the view. Six: At the top stop and feel the freddom of the hills, and really enjoy the view(this might be the most important thing:-)
This year I was invited to the Utefest at Docksta. I was thera as a represent of the Swedish Moutainleader Organisation. My mission was to guide participants of the feast. So early at Sunday morning I stood at the Skuleskogen nature reserve. This would be a real test of my skills. The client was what I should call experienced participants. The paln of the day was to reach the ”slottsdalsskrevan” and continue next to the coastline back to the start. The weather was cloudy with a slight rain. But during the day the weather become better and better. I informed about routing, clothing and equipment. Lunch and sove become a natual part at lunchtime. At the end of the day I got the feedback clear. One of the participants told me -You are a very calm and good guide. I would trust you where ever you guide me. That was a good feeling I left that guiding:-)
At the mountain environment we all become small humans. But there in the mountains you feel like a whole person. and you long for it again. With a company you can just keep quite and just feel the community. At the bonfire you can tell the story of your life, without hiding anything. We are all just humans and life is not always so easy…
And this with being quite int the mountains. There ones was a director of a big comapny in Stockholm who was from Varmland. He was going out for a tough skiing tour in Harjedalen with a local priest. The priest would test him if he was the real mountain man as other have told him. So the priest pointed out the target of the day and they began to ski. With high speed for an hour without saying a word, he was approved. Being together without talking, that is a skill you got in the mountains. Everything is so big up here and so pretty. The heaven is so close. here it is only essentials.
Today it will be about one of my favorite places the Aguille du Midi at Chamonix. This is one of the routes to get to the Mont Blanc. The cable car was built in 1955 and held the title of the world’s highest cable car for about two decades. It still holds the record as the highest vertical ascent cable car in the world, from 1,035 m to 3842 m. The Aiguille du Midi lift was first thought of by two Swiss engineers in 1905. Their plan was to link the hamlet of Les Pelerins with the summit of l’Aiguille du Midi. The project met technical problems and was abandoned. Four years later a French company, Funicular Railways, made a new attempt and the first section Les Pelerins – La Para was opened in 1924.
The second section La Para – Les Glaciers was completed three years later. It was then the highest cable car in the world. With the outbreak of the WWII and the opening of the Planpraz to Brevent cable car, the popularity of the Aiguille du Midi diminished, and it was closed in 1951. An Italian engineer Count Dino Lora Totino was called in to rebuild and extend the cable car. Four years and a lot of hard work later, the new Aiguille du Midi cable car was finally completed. It was entirely renovated in 1991.
When you take your first step into the ice tunnel for reaching the glacier, your heart starts to speed up. The adventure is on. Now you rope up and put on the crampons. When you open the gate and start to walk step by step on the ridge you are fully alive. The view is outstanding, I don’t think I have seen anything like it. It is mountaineering is its soul.
Todays X-mas gift suggestion from santa will be a weather station. For all us outdoor nerd, this will be a good thing to have…